CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The Corning City Council has unanimously voted to approve a temporary closure of a portion of Market Street to allow for businesses to move their products and tables outdoors from June 12 to August 2.
The council also approved to waive a code that prevents vending in Centerway Square to allow for nearby businesses to expand into the area and for entertainers to sell CDs if they perform.
A third resolution that was unanimously approved waived the open container ordinance and ensure that alcohol is not consumed after 11 p.m. that night.
The Reopening Corning event would run from June 12 at 11 a.m. to August 1 at 11 p.m.
The closure of a section of Market Street would begin at 6 a.m. on June 12 through August 2 at 8 a.m. to allow for setup and cleanup.
The street will close with the exception of a 15 foot lane in the middle of the road for emergency vehicles, which is standard for events. Any business that serves alcohol must have a fenced-in area for serving.
The approval comes as restaurants prepare to reopen (while anticipating additional restrictions on capacity) in phase three of the Governor’s reopening plan. The Southern Tier is expected to move in to phase three on June 12.
A majority of business owners who spoke during the open comment session were in favor of the proposal, even if it did not directly assist or could even hurt their business.
Multiple council members, particularly Councilman Mark ReSue, were originally concerned with the length of the closing proposal, asking for a shorter length in the event with the possibility to extend it at a later date. Councilman ReSue later voted to approve the plan.
There were also concerns about alcohol use on the street with the open container change and parking with no vehicles on Market Street. The Centerway Parking Garage will be free to park in, according to Coleen Fabrizi.
Nearly all of the council members acknowledged that the plan is not perfect but it is necessary to revitalize downtown Corning.
Guidelines for the event for businesses and patrons are expected to be released by the Gaffer District. Those guidelines could include whether restaurants can serve with glassware or have certain kinds of music. The city and Gaffer District will be following the Governor’s regulations.
Corning Enterprises will also be offering grants worth up to $500 for each business to cover insurance or new equipment (tables, racks) to move business outside.
The Gaffer District created a slideshow presentation for the city council and the public regarding the event.
The Gaffer District also noted that the Buy Now Shop Later program put more than $400,000 into 80 downtown businesses.